Having observed a lesson this week and fed back to the teacher I’ve been thinking about the lesson observation forms that people use. If you’re still doing traditional lesson observations rather than lesson study, these might be useful.
I know some people prefer to go in with a plain piece of A4 or some use a pro forms but I have some suggestions of what to include with either if you don’t already.
Questions for the teacher
I found that due to the focus of the observation I had lots of questions that I wanted to ask the teacher. It wasn’t appropriate during the lesson so I wrote down some of the questions I had that would help me understand how and why things were planned etc
In the conversation following the lesson (I’m avoiding the word feedback) I asked the questions which lead to me finding out so much more than was obvious in the lesson. It also lead to more questions and more important info being shared.
Of course a discussion with the teacher before the lesson would be ideal as well…. So a section saying Pre-lesson discussion would be useful.
Questions for the students
If you have an observation focus it would be a good idea to note some questions you’d like to ask stduents BEFORE you go in. What can you ask them that will help to find out what you want to know?
You can then add further questions asked and responses during/after the observation.
This is a great way to really focus on what the observation focus is and get you thinking about it BEFORE a you walk in the class.
In-lesson and post-lesson proforma?
Finally, I’ve been thinking that the piece of paper that you use in the lesson should not be what is given to the teacher. The process of the observation should be the record on the paper which includes pre-lesson discussion, discussions In the lesson and also a record of what was discussed after the lesson. My perceptions and understanding was significantly enhanced by the discussion afterwards. The original paperwork was not representative of what was happening. I am going to rewrite it using the newly discussed info. This is significant because the ‘areas for development’ changed because of the discussion.
This does of course beg the question ‘Can a lesson be accurately judged by going in for 30mins and not discussing anything with that teacher?’ But I think we probably know the answer to that……